Pride Month is a fabulous recognition of the trials the LGBTQ+ community has gone through, as well as the celebration of what they’ve overcome. But it can feel supportive, yet isolating when someone isn’t yet out. They may want to celebrate Pride, but have no idea how to do it when no one knows what it personally means to them.
Don’t worry, friend. I got you.
There are plenty of ways you can celebrate Pride, either as a public event or as a personal happy-dance or both, even when you’re not out.
And I’d like to recommend that you do. Celebrating Pride is affirming, especially when someone isn’t out. It’s the one time it’s totally okay to be LGBTQ+. The one time everyone loves everyone and #LoveIsLove. When the whole damn world recognizes it’s okay to be different and unique.
It can feel fucking amazing to see people living their authentic lives as their authentic selves. Especially when that idea scares you to pieces. Pride shows that being out is possible.
But not everyone is ready to come out. For some, it’s not safe. But Pride is still for you. And a celebration of YOU!
So here are 5 ways you can celebrate Pride Month, even if you’re not out.
1. Wear a rainbow.
Maybe it’s a bracelet. Maybe it’s a t-shirt. Or maybe it’s a necklace you borrowed from your kid sister and keep in your pocket. Wearing a rainbow in whatever form can make you feel like part of the movement. And while rainbows are plentiful during Pride Month, you can totally don one without it screaming “I’m gay!”
2. Learn about LGBTQ+ history.
Do you know what started the Pride movement? Do you know about Albert Cashier? Or the transgender Roman emperor? While many people think the whole “LGBTQ+ thing” is new, it’s not. It has a long and interesting history that’s as old as human kind. A history that you are now a part of. So learn it, my friend, and learn it well.
3. Read books by LGBTQ+ writers.
Writers tend to write what they know. Pick up a few books by LGBTQ+ authors with gay, queer, or trans characters. Reading about other people’s experiences lets you know you’re not alone and that there are people out there who’ve overcome the challenges you’re facing.
4. Go to a Pride event.
Not everyone who goes to a Pride parade or festival is LGBTQ+. Many are allies, friends, and family there to show their support. So be part of them! Experiencing a Pride event is a wonderful, enlightening experience that everyone who is willing should experience at some time. So grab a friend and find a Pride event near you.
5. Support LGBTQ+ businesses and non-profits.
Pride Month is a great time to support LGBTQ+ small businesses, support groups, and non-profits. From soaps to jackets to artwork, there are LGBTQ+ folks out there making just about anything you could want (and most of it has nothing to do with being queer). Hell, most of them are selling it on Etsy.
Remember, pride is for you even if you’re not out.
You are still part of the celebration and the recognition even if no one knows you’re not cis or straight. It’s still your holiday, even if you can’t be out, loud, and proud.
This holiday is meant for you. And others like you.
So know we’re here. We love you. And when you’re ready, we’re wrap a flag around you and walk down the street with an arm around your shoulders. Until then, I hope you still find a way to celebrate!